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Guns are subjected to sudden, brief, yet severe forces during firing. Firing is a type of cyclic loading. One moment there is no load on your gun and less than one thousandth of a second later it has tens of thousands of pounds of force per square inch pushing from within. All metals have cracks and other flaws within; perfection belonging to God. Each of these firing cycles can open cracks a little wider. Your gun's ability to withstand repeated firings without breakage is a measure of its fracture toughness. If your gun were as hard as your knife, it would one day shatter like porcelain.

That's why your hunting knife is harder than your gun.
Makes sense. That, as I understand it, is why McCormick no longer makes Ti hammers for 1911s. I have a 1911 with a Ti FP, hammer, hammer strut and MSH cap. All those other parts have are cushioned in some way from work hardening. The hammer, though, gets direct steel-to-Ti-to-steel contact. One day, it will shatter like glass.

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